Preparing an emergency kit can put your mind at ease and help you handle an urgent situation. The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends stocking a basic home emergency kit with the following items:
Food and water. Store 1 gallon of water per person per day for hydration and sanitation, as well as enough nonperishable food for everyone in your family for three days. If you stock canned food, be sure to pack a can opener. Don't forget food and water for your pets.
First aid kit. To treat burns, cuts and wounds and to prevent infection, stock a first aid kit with bandages, sterile dressings, soap or antibiotic towelettes, burn ointment and antibiotic ointment. Also include two pairs of latex or other sterile gloves, eye wash solution, a thermometer, and any prescribed medications or medical equipment, such as blood glucose or blood pressure monitoring supplies.
Wrench or pliers. They'll come in handy to shut off utilities.
Sanitation supplies. Have moist towelettes and plastic bags for personal use. Keep your supplies dry with plastic sheeting. Use dust masks for air filtration.
Radio. A battery-powered radio with extra batteries will let you receive weather alerts and emergency broadcasting messages.
Maps, cell phones, flashlights and whistles. A road map can come in handy to guide rescue workers to you. Have your cell phone, with a solar or car charger, to communicate with family members and rescuers. Flashlights can signal rescuers as well as help your family move about in the dark. Keep a whistle on hand to alert rescue crews as they come near your home.